The Charlotte News

Friday, May 16, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that that the nationwide oil workers' strike appeared close to settlement this date as bargaining sessions between the union and oil company representatives across the country resumed. The leader of the coalition of unions which had been on strike for 16 days returned to Denver the previous night after a meeting in Washington with Wage Stabilization Board officials and stated that he expected most of the workers to be back on the job soon, provided the oil companies agreed to wage increases recommended by the WSB. The strike involved 22 unions, impacting 90,000 workers, and would require agreements with 70 different oil companies. Some agreements based on a wage stabilization formula were reportedly being transacted the previous night. The WSB had recommended a 15-cent per hour wage increase, except in a few unusual circumstances. The unions had stated that they would accept that increase and companies employing about 20,000 of the striking workers had already offered that amount before the WSB recommendation.

The U.S., Great Britain, Australia, Japan and other countries had severely curtailed their domestic and foreign airline operations because of the strike.

The Senate passed a bill this date giving the states title to the tidelands oil off their coasts, sending the legislation to the President, who had vetoed a similar bill in 1946 but had not stated publicly what he would do this time. Most observers believed he would veto it. The bill most directly concerned the states of California, Texas and Louisiana, where experts estimated the worth of the oil in the submerged lands to be between 22 and 39 billion dollars. The bill was designed to circumvent the Supreme Court rulings which had declared that the Federal Government had rights to the land superior to the states.

The House Ways & Means Committee this date approved an increase of at least five dollars per month for persons presently drawing Social Security old age and survivors benefits, and up to five dollars per month for persons who would retire in the future. The total cost of the added benefits was estimated at 300 million dollars per year, but Committee chairman Robert Doughton of North Carolina, author of the measure, stated that the increases could be paid without increasing payroll taxes which financed the payments. Present costs of the Social Security program were about two billion dollars per year.

Averell Harriman moved back into the lead in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, in terms of delegate strength, on the basis of a new survey in Pennsylvania, where 70 delegates were at stake. After the April 22 primary, Senator Estes Kefauver had received 27 delegates and Ambassador Harriman only four. A new survey, however, showed that 45 delegates considered themselves uncommitted, including 19 who originally had been pledged to support the preferential primary winner, Senator Kefauver. That result meant that Senator Kefauver's committed delegates were reduced to seven in Pennsylvania, compared to 2 1/2 for Ambassador Harriman, altering the national total to 92 for Mr. Harriman and 8.5 for Senator Kefauver, with 616 votes needed to nominate. Senator Kefauver appeared likely to pick up all 12 of the delegates from Oregon being chosen this date in a primary, as he was the only person on the ballot and the results were binding on that delegation.

General Eisenhower was the favorite in Oregon among Republicans, as Senator Taft had not entered that race, but whether he would receive all 18 delegates or only 10, depended on the eight unpledged delegates. All of the others had promised to support the winner of the preferential balloting. In addition to General Eisenhower, Governor Earl Warren and former Governor Harold Stassen were on the ballot. Record voting in Oregon was expected. In addition, Republicans in North Dakota had convened to name an uninstructed 14-member delegation, most of whom were expected to support Senator Taft. The Missouri delegation had completed its 26-person selection process the previous day, with the General having 17 certain delegates and four probable, with Senator Taft, the remaining five.

General Eisenhower said this date to journalists in London, during his two-day farewell visit to Britain, that the unity and spiritual strength of the free world were more important than tanks, guns, planes and ships. He said: "We cannot focus our eyes too narrowly just on tanks and guns, planes and ships. Those things alone cannot preserve the peace, and they certainly cannot preserve freedom."

In Detroit, General MacArthur told American workers this date that they should take a firm stand "in the coming Constitutional battle to save America as we have known it", that they should resist "inroads into industry by governmental regulations, by tax levy and by political pressure." He had also given a talk to the Michigan Legislature in Lansing the previous night, in which he warned against "political conniving" which could bring about a "military state".

Army chief of staff General J. Lawton Collins said this date in Los Angeles, addressing the Chamber of Commerce, that the Army had a gun which could fire atomic as well as conventional shells. He also said that the Army had more than doubled the number of anti-aircraft battalions guarding the home front. He said that eventually the Army would have in its arsenal guided missiles with atomic warheads for protection of the country, usable in all weather and with sufficient range to cover any part of an Army corps front. He indicated that the Nike guided missiles were undergoing operational tests at White Sands, N.M., firing at ranges and altitudes never previously attempted.

The president of the United Steelworkers Union, Philip Murray, stated this date at the biennial convention in Philadelphia that he was willing to renew labor peace talks with the steel industry, but stressed that he was standing fast on his demands to accord the WSB's recommended package, equivalent to 26 cents per hour in wage increases and benefits, plus the union shop. He said that it was up to industry to initiate new negotiations.

In Ottawa, the Canadian Government agreed to allow a $10 per ton increase in the price of newsprint for export, but not on sales to Canadian publishers. The increase was allowed because of the boosted exchange value of the Canadian dollar, lowering returns of sales in New York.

In Bern, Switzerland, a Deputy in Parliament demanded that the Bern Government compensate 31 schoolchildren who had contracted tuberculosis from their teacher.

In London, a French doctor, writing in the British publication Medical World, suggested this date that the British should quit griping about food rationing and concentrate on love, and recommended that a ministry of matrimony be established immediately, giving everyone a marriage coupon.

Also in London, British nudists this date invited the public and press to attend an "open day" at their North Kent Club near Dartford on May 24, indicating that visitors could retain their clothing but could not take any snapshots.

In Hampton, Iowa, the owner of the Little Butch café posted his ceiling prices, as required by the Office of Price Stabilization, but on his ceiling.

That's an old one, there having been those who were such smart-alecks also in the days of OPA during the war. Such a joke doesn't really work twice. He should have been creative and posted them in the basement, but that might have landed him in jail.

In Charlotte, in the trial of Alfred Raymond Reinhart for the murder of the prominent Wilmington attorney, Emmett Bellamy, on March 31, a Duke University psychiatrist testified that Mr. Reinhart, based on the hypothetical facts contained in a lengthy question posed by defense counsel regarding irrational and unusual behavior of the defendant just before the shooting had occurred, could have been insane temporarily at the time of the shooting. But Judge Dan K. Moore—to become Governor in 1965 and later to serve on the State Supreme Court—, had sustained the prosecutor's objection to the earlier form of the question regarding whether the defendant "did not know the nature and quality of the act and the natural consequence of it and did not have the capacity to distinguish between what was morally right and morally wrong" at the time of the act, on the basis that certain portions of the lengthy recitation of facts preceding the question had assumed facts not in evidence. During the lunch recess, the prosecutor and defense counsel conferred with Judge Moore and the question was subsequently altered to eliminate the offending facts. The trial was presently in its fourth day and was expected to continue this night and all day on Saturday, into Saturday night. The prosecutor indicated that it might stretch into Sunday.

There was no issue of Mr. Reinhart having committed the act of killing Mr. Bellamy, but the question for the jury to determine was whether or not he was legally insane at the time, at least to the degree, nullifying if not his ability to form malice aforethought and the basic criminal intent necessary for murder, the premeditative element necessary for first degree murder.

On an inside page appears the eighth and last in the series of articles by Dr. W. C. Alvarez, titled "How To Live with Your Blood Pressure", the last of his three series on health, the first two having dealt, respectively, with the nerves and heart.

On the editorial page, "The Rip Van Winkle Republicans" recommends Gerald W. Johnson's article in the current Reporter to Republicans who believed that they could breeze to victory in the fall general election. Mr. Johnson, of the Baltimore Evening Sun and formerly of North Carolina, and who had written, among other books, The American People, believed that the Republicans were dreaming regarding certain victory, setting forth his thesis convincingly. He questioned which people wanted change and found that there were many things the voters did not want changed, such as prosperity, hot war instead of cold war, or sending of large armies to fight in mainland China. There was not a great deal of evidence that people wanted to change from the President's program to one or more of the programs being offered by the Republicans.

He had found the Republicans' slumber "undisturbed by the nightmarish truth that any man the Democrats nominate will start with a twenty-five percent advantage over any man the Republicans nominate", that being the percentage by which Democrats exceeded Republicans in the electorate, requiring therefore that the GOP take two-thirds of the independent vote to win. High taxes helped the Republicans while prosperity helped the Democrats. But balancing those factors off, with the people in the lower income brackets never having had it so good and those in the upper brackets rarely so bad, the former cast the votes while the latter, though controlling most of the media and able better to articulate issues than those of the lower brackets, could only make more noise.

Mr. Johnson had also pointed out that the Democrats' "socialistic schemes" cost only a little more than a nickel out of each tax dollar and therefore if they were scrapped, would not save the taxpayers much money and yet were aimed at improving the conditions of the very classes who voted. Some of these programs, such as TVA and the various conservation schemes, were not the result of any spending but rather investing, with reasonable hope of profits. Others, such as the agricultural policy, afforded insurance against disaster to those who never previously had it.

He suggested that the thieves uncovered within the Administration had been "lollypop snatchers" compared to the "expert cracksmen and skillful burglars" of the 1920's. Yet, in 1924, while the Democrats could point to the Teapot Dome scandal, it proved nothing in the face of the Coolidge Administration prosperity. He also found that McCarthyism had begun to bore more people than it terrified, as the defense and foreign aid programs had proven that the Administration was standing firm against Communism.

The piece notes that there was one point which Mr. Johnson had not mentioned, that the Democrats might present a united front in 1952, as the Southerners were rallying behind Senator Russell, who would, in consequence, possess great bargaining power at the convention and was not inclined to bolt the party. It suggested that the Democrats might work out their civil rights compromise and nominate a ticket headed by Governor Adlai Stevenson, possibly with Senator Russell in the second spot, balancing the left wing of the party with the Southern Democrats. It was a formula for success which had worked repeatedly for the Democrats.

Mr. Johnson had conceded that the immense personal popularity of General Eisenhower might override all of those considerations, but had indicated that it was far from certain. With anyone other than General Eisenhower as the Republican nominee, however, their cause would be lost.

He had concluded that the Republicans had been asleep for 20 years, as Rip Van Winkle, and if the party did not wake up in the ensuing few months, prior to the 5th of November, it might never wake up at all.

"Warning" finds intriguing the reported consternation with which Washington society had viewed the presidential candidacy of Senator Robert Kerr of Oklahoma. He and his wife were teetotalers and it was reported that the society crowd, after having been nurtured on martinis for 13 years and bourbon and branch water for the ensuing seven, were not willing to return to grape juice or soft drinks, which had characterized the Hoover Administration.

It also posits that there was one aspect of the campaign which had escaped public discourse, that being that some Democrats were still hoping for a ticket of Governor Adlai Stevenson and Senator Richard Russell. But as both men were unmarried, it wonders who would be the hostess. It suggests that since Senator Russell had a number of sisters, one of them might act as hostess, but suggests that the Senator should beware of "sirens seeking commitments beyond those normally accorded by candidates." It concludes that the pitfalls of being a candidate in the present time were manifold.

"Tragedy of Errors" finds that in the wake of General Mark Clark having repudiated the agreement made by Brig. General Charles Colson to obtain the release of Brig. General Francis Dodd, taken hostage the previous week for three days by Koje Island Communist prisoners in Korea, it remained to be seen what repercussions would develop. It had not been revealed what specific orders had been given to General Colson when he was assigned the temporary command of the prison camp, but General Clark had maintained that he did not have the authority to accept "vicious and false charges" contained in the terms of release. It suggests that he might have considered the Communist terms reasonable under the circumstances and their acceptance preferable to death or injury to General Dodd.

It had been revealed that the Communists were complete masters within the camp area, were flying Chinese Communist and North Korean flags, while armed U.N. guards remained outside the barbed wire enclosure ready to put down any riot or prevent escapes. It suggests it as an indefensible set-up, giving the prisoners more authority over their own affairs than they deserved. It suggests that breaking up the camp into smaller units, with closer direction by U.N. officials, would minimize the possibility of future incidents such as the hostage episode and the prior two riots. It would also provide assurance that the provisions of the Geneva Convention would be applied within the camp area.

It finds that U.S. Army officials had been outsmarted by the Communists, using the ruse of this incident to neutralize the effect of the final three-point offer of compromise regarding the truce, the primary remaining sticking point having been the issue of voluntary repatriation of prisoners.

"How Silly Can You Get?" tells of Admiral E. L. Cochrane, the U.S. Maritime administrator, stating that the speed of the 72 million dollar S. S. United States would be maintained in secret for national security reasons, as it might one day have to be converted to a troop carrier in the event of war. Yet, the Admiral had informed reporters aboard the ship that it was cruising at 30 knots and predicted it could do better than Britain's Queen Mary, which averaged over 31 knots on a 1938 trans-Atlantic run. He also said that it would go faster than any warship except a destroyer. Those facts, it posits, would give any potential enemy a pretty good notion of the ship's speed, and it wonders what was to keep a Soviet diplomatic official from booking passage on the ship and clocking its time.

It concludes: "How silly can you get about censorship, anyhow?"

A piece from the Muskogee (Okla.) Daily Phoenix, titled "They'll Give to Anything", tells of a bank having placed a large jar on a stand near one of the counters in the lobby, into which it had placed nickels and dimes and on the outside stenciled a fish jumping out of water, writing around the design the words, "Fish for Your Change". It was to afford patrons the ability to have nickels for parking meters and the like, and the bank trusted its customers to make change appropriately. But during three minutes of observation, three persons only made contributions, apparently thinking it for that purpose.

Drew Pearson tells of obtaining a secret cable from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow warning that Japanese business leaders were negotiating a new trade alliance with Russia because Japanese goods were being effectively barred from the U.S. by high tariffs. This development was causing considerable consternation in the State Department, as U.S. diplomats had been doing their best to persuade European and non-Communist Asiatic countries to ban trade with Russia and Communist China. Every time they sought to do so, however, Congress or the tariff commission raised tariffs even higher. The secret cable in question had been sent by Hugh Cumming, minister-counselor of the U.S. Embassy, indicating that two prominent Japanese had gone to Moscow to arrange a trade deal with Russia because Japanese tuna fish and Japanese chinaware had been barred from the U.S. by the tariff rates. He quotes the cable.

A group of youngsters had ventured to New York, having their way paid after winning contests for writing the best essays to be broadcast over the Voice of America behind the Iron Curtain. They had come from Colorado, Kansas, Florida and West Virginia to deliver personally over the Voice the messages they had written, among the thousands which had been written and were being broadcast daily by the Voice. The messages had captivated the diplomats and journalists alike, even inspiring the taxi drivers to give sightseeing lectures to them on the wonders of Manhattan. Everyone in the city had rolled out the red carpet for them, some of the young people never having been on an airplane before and being as young as 11 years old. A young girl who lived on a cattle ranch in Burlington, Colorado, wanted to ride the subway and partake of lamb for the first time. A young boy from Orlando, Florida, wanted most to see the Lincoln Memorial during the stopover in Washington. Another young boy from Kansas also got a thrill out of seeing the Memorial, but possibly had more fun at a game between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. He was vice-president of his junior high school and a drummer in the high school band, and wanted to impress upon the youth living behind the Iron Curtain that he was also black.

Marquis Childs discusses the pending Supreme Court decision in the steel case, which, he posits, would inevitably have an immediate bearing on the current crisis but could not resolve the larger issue of uses and abuses of power in the face of centralization of economic and industrial control which had taken place in the nation in recent decades. He suggests that there were at least two reasons why the Court's decision would have limited application, the first being that no judicial decision could possibly resolve such a complex matter as the growth of big government, which had taken place during the first half of the century as a means of addressing the growth of big industry and then, in turn, the growth of big labor unions. He suggests it as being at the heart of the issue involving the Constitutional balance between freedom and authority, as conceived in a largely agrarian society with an open expanse of land still available across the continent. The second reason was a function of the Court itself, which had deep divisions internally, perhaps more so than at any prior time in its history. Those divisions had come to light when the President had appointed Justice Robert Jackson to be the American prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes trials in 1945, during which, the late Chief Justice Harlan Stone had died in spring, 1946, and was replaced by the current Chief, Fred Vinson. On occasion, the divisions had spilled into the public arena in open acrimony. It was one reason for the decline in prestige of the Court, which he suggests might be at an all-time low. Another reason had been the appointment of judges based, in the perceptions of many, more on politics than legal acumen.

After 20 years in power, the Democrats had replaced nearly the entire Federal judiciary, not without precedent in terms of one party dominating the appointments for a long period, the Republicans having controlled the White House from 1861 through 1913, with the exception of the term of Andrew Johnson and the two separate terms of Grover Cleveland. But, he suggests, it may have resulted in an unprecedented immediate impact on the judicial system.

Justice Harold Burton, appointed in the fall of 1945 as the President's first Supreme Court appointment, was the lone Republican on the Court, having been a Republican Senator from Ohio at the time of his appointment by his friend, the President, who had served with him for a decade in the Senate.

He suggests that political affiliation was no measure of the capacity or lack thereof for high judicial office, and it served as a commentary on the present make-up of the Court that the person recognized as the greatest of American judges, retired Federal Judge Learned Hand, had never served on the high Court, despite having been a Federal judge for 42 years, 27 of which had been on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.

Roscoe Drummond, writing in the Christian Science Monitor, discusses interim Democratic Senator Blair Moody of Michigan, a former newspaperman who was building a record for making friends and influencing action on the floor of the Senate. He had worked for 18 years as the Washington correspondent for the Detroit News, prior to his appointment by Democratic Governor G. Mennen Williams to replace deceased Senator Arthur Vandenberg, a Republican. Senator Moody was extremely energetic and preferred to do three tasks at once, had not slowed down since entering the Senate a year earlier. Mr. Drummond ventures that he had made as much of an impression on the Senate as had Senators Estes Kefauver and Paul Douglas, both of whom were also freshmen.

He was the first Senator to move directly to the floor of the Senate from the press gallery, from which he had written fiery pieces instructing members of Congress what they should be doing and how they should do it better.

He had been on the front lines of the year-long fight to build support for and obtain Senate approval of the McClellan bill to organize a joint committee on the budget and make possible a year-round Congressional analysis by non-political experts on Government spending. Many viewed it as the most important step toward substantial Government economy. The bill, which he had promoted as a correspondent, passed the Senate by a vote of 55 to 8. He had allied with Senator Douglas in support of the selective budget economy, voting with Senator Douglas 77 percent of the time during the first session of the 82nd Congress and with him on every vote thus far in the second session. He favored giving the President the line item veto on Congressional appropriations bills.

He had supported all of the Hoover Commission proposals which had come before Congress, and with the support of Senators Mike Monroney and Hubert Humphrey, he had helped turn the tide in favor of the Hoover recommendations to take politics out of the IRB, by making the tax collectors subject to the Civil Service system. He had uncovered the use of influence in the Detroit office of the IRB and the resulting regulations had brought about a housecleaning.

Before supporting the new Mutual Security Agency appropriation, he had traveled to Europe to obtain the facts for himself, and was now on the side of General Eisenhower in opposing radical reduction of the appropriations for the foreign aid program. He also favored the St. Lawrence Seaway and was an advocate of bipartisanship in foreign policy.

Despite those attributes, Senator Moody would be defeated in the fall by Republican Congressman Charles Potter, perhaps, in part, for voter distaste over the appointment of a Democrat to replace a deceased Republican Senator.

A letter writer praises Hoyt Eaves, a regular correspondent to the newspaper's letters column, typically ending his letters with "So it is", for being dedicated to breaking up the 50 years of one-party rule in the state and every other Southern state. He had advocated selection of Republican candidates in the primary, election of precinct chairmen by the voters in the primary, election of the county chairmen in the primary and selection of the Republican presidential electors and national convention delegates in the primary. She believes that these changes would put control of the party in the hands of the voters. He also favored proportional representation in the electoral college, all of which, she concludes, would place the Republican Party on the map in the South.

Well, you have a very good point regarding the proportional electoral college. Get with Senator Lodge and let's do it.

A letter writer from McBee, S.C., finds a Communistic conspiracy afoot to keep General Eisenhower from the White House. He finds that, like George Washington, the General was a symbol of strength in American unity at home and abroad, and of decency in and out of the American system of Government. He stood for "the right in all things". He would "return the spiritual and moral and patriotic sense to Americans and to the world in general." He would "walk, talk, think and act like a President of the United States should." And he would recover the "lost respect and honor" of the U.S. since the death of FDR.

It appears he is going to vote for General Eisenhower.

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